The final fight scene in movies is often the most anticipated part of the film. After watching hours of building tension, viewers assume the culminating conflict between the hero and the biggest adversary will blow every previous encounter out of the water. But that isn't always the case. Sometimes all that mounting tension leads to a battle that's more than a little underwhelming.
Some movies use the disappointment to their advantage. The final fight in Kill Bill is made to be anticlimactic, as the quick end to the skirmish feels true to the nature of the characters - and, indeed, the conversation between the two former lovers seems like the main event. Other movies, however, fail to create a scene that feels at all compelling. Are we truly meant to believe that John Wick struggles to take down a single Russian man after slaying hordes of his henchmen throughout the film? We're not buying.
Whether it's the ineptitude of the filmmakers, or a deliberate choice on the part of the creators, anticlimactic final fights give us plenty to talk about.
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Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice pits two of the biggest heroes in the DC universe against each other. After the destructive climax in Man of Steel, Batman blames Superman for the loss of many lives in Gotham City. Superman, on the other hand, sees Batman as a threat who wants to take him down.
Considering the title, it should come as no surprise that these characters are headed for a showdown. The clash itself is definitely interesting, if a little slow-paced. Batman breaks out a variety of Kryptonite weapons to disable Superman, and nearly succeeds. But the fight itself isn't what's truly disappointing - it's the conclusion. After going at it for a whole movie, the heroes lay down their weapons and agree to be friends when they hear the name Martha - which just so happens to be the name of both their mothers.
That's all it took? Realizing their mothers have the same name? It's a far too easy way to bring these characters together, especially considering that they each have valid complaints about the other, and that they embody the great divide in DC Comics superhero style.
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In Spider-Man 3, Peter Parker faces three very different villains: Harry Osborne AKA the New Goblin, Sandman, and Venom. The various adversaries result in quite a few engaging showdowns. Spider-Man fights the New Goblin through the streets of New York, dodging weapons and struggling to stay alive as Harry zips around on his hoverboard. He battles Sandman as well, struggling to gain the upper hand against a foe who can increase in size and then disintegrate at will. In his last encounter with Sandman, Spider-Man only escapes with the help of Harry after Sandman grows to a building-sized block of dirt.
But the final battle, the duel against Venom, falls short. After such an intense clash with Sandman, Spider-Man simply has to mimic a bell noise that freaks out the Symbiote, forcing him to detach from Eddie Brock. It's not much of a fight, since it just involves Spider-Man clanging metal bars together and watching the Symbiote panic. And Venom was supposed to be the most menacing villain of the trio!
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The 2012 remake of Total Recall takes place in a dystopian future where most of the Earth has been decimated by chemical warfare, rendering most land uninhabitable. Douglas Quaid was formerly secret agent Carl Hauser, joins a resistance movement and is subsequently implanted with memories of a fake life.
Quaid comes to oppose British Chancellor Vilos Cohaagen's plan to invade the Australia-based "Colony" in search of more living space. Throughout the movie, Quaid dispatches many of Cohaagen's associates, and loses many allies, while seeking the truth about his past life.
The final face-off between Quaid and Cohaagen is disappointing - not because of the setup or prior battles, but because of the actors themselves. Young, strong, incredibly fit Colin Farrell (Quaid) has to battle against significantly older, significantly weaker Bryan Cranston (Cohaagen). The fight isn't remotely fair, yet the film wants us to believe Cranston (whose strength as an actor, age aside, is his ability to convey brains rather than brawn) could actually gain the upper hand. Suspension of disbelief goes "poof."
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Transformers is chock-full of incredible battle scenes, usually between the humans and their robot alien counterparts. Who could forget the nail-biting fight between the soldiers and Scorponok in the middle of the Qatar desert? For all the compelling conflict this movie provides, however, each battle is only a lead-up to the final face-off against Megatron. As the leader of the Decepticons, Megatron is destined to clash with the Autobots's Optimus Prime.
When the two finally face each other, the battle is ... okay. There are plenty of robots parts flying around, but Megatron and Prime don't really go at it. They toss each other around the city a bit, trip each other, and get a few half-hearted punches in.
While previous setpieces included incredibly high stakes and advanced weaponry, the conflict between Prime and Megatron leaves much to be desired. Plus, their weird cat fight ends with Sam Witwicky stepping in and saving the day, rendering Prime fairly useless. Not what we were expecting from the biggest robot rumble of the film.